Three HVAC matters you need to address seriously

When it comes to HVAC issues, there's a long list. But then there are some issues that are commonly discussed and others that are not given as much importance as others. While we have already talked enough about the commonly discussed HVAC matters, this blog is dedicated to discussing uncommonly discussed HVAC issues that are, interestingly, in their nature, very important and have the potential to leave significant impacts on comfort. Let's begin:


Only the right only size means the right comfort 

Comfort does not come handy by purchasing appliances. It comes by purchasing the right appliances. And the right appliances are bought when the necessary thought process and professional consultation precedes the purchase. Sizing is one of the few decisive factors for comfort. Choosing a larger than needed size, you will choose for your system to trip frequently, which will result in temperature difference in the indoor. Contrarily, choosing a smaller than the needed system is synonymous with asking the system to constantly work as long as the entire indoor does not get enough cool/warm. Constant operation then results in faster wearing out and frequent repairs. The principle of right-sizing applies to IAQ appliances as well. So the next time, you are out to purchase a Furnace, Air Conditioner, Humidifier, Air Cleaner or any other whole home appliance, make sure it is the right size.


The outdoor unit could be at a direct risk of damage 

The outdoor HVAC units need care not just in peak seasons but also in off-peak seasons or you can say, throughout the year. While in peak season, it is important to keep the unit clean and in off-peak season, to cover it, it is also important to protect the unit from the possible damages of storms and lightning. While storms can bang random things into the unit, the lightning can actually cause a fire with all sorts of shrubs and bushes grown around the unit. To provide for yourself, a complete package of protection, consider surrounding the unit with a barrier and keep the grass trimmed around the unit. Doing so will also help protect the unit from animals and environmental mess.


The unit may be the right size and still not enough  

The sizing of the unit is considered with the area under consideration. But even the finest equation can go wrong when the weather wants to go high and low on the swing of the temperature scale. This can result in Furnace becoming apparently inefficient in winter by not providing enough humidity and causing discomfort. And AC becoming inefficient by not dehumidifying enough and leaving enough warmth in the indoor. In these cases, whole-home Humidifier/Dehumidifiers can be the best choice to consider. With sufficient humidity maintained, the systems will not only work with an optimal performance, but the indoor comfort will also be maintained easily.

Have you considered these HVAC matters before? If yes, how have they benefited you? Also, is there a special HVAC ritual of your own?

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Here's why you should avoid closing registers

There is a religiously believed and also practised myth and that is; in order to save energy, close registers in the unused rooms. The fact is, doing so not only badly affects the HVAC system and the ductwork but also creates some very bizarre indoor air quality and air flow problems. We as HVAC specialists suggest homeowners time and again not to close their registers in the hope of saving energy or keeping some rooms overly cold/warm. It needs to be understood that the HVAC system does not work solely on its own and the same is true for the ductwork. Both work in coordination with one another. Disturbing one simply means disturbing the other as well. Below, we discuss in detail why closing registers in unused rooms is not a good idea at all.


- Energy saving? No such thing happens dude 

The heating/cooling temperature is not determined by the registers. It is determined by the thermostat which you set at whatever temperature you want the indoor to be. In that case, the HVAC system will continue to operate until it reaches that temperature. The HVAC system does not know whether the registers are opened or closed. So there's no energy saving at all. The system runs for as long as it usually does.

- Comfort compromise 

While the registers are closed to attain more comfort, doing so actually increases discomfort. This happens when the airflow is disturbed. The supply of airflow is not affected by closing the registers. It is in fact controlled by the dampers present within the branch ducts. So the airflow goes all the way to the opening and finds it closed. Since the air does not find a way out from the duct, it returns and this return disturbs the air flow in the rest of the rooms as well, resulting in discomfort or hot and cold spots.

- Pressure problems  

Homeowners close supply registers but the return resisters remain open. This way the air from the room where there is no air supplied keeps on evacuating creating a negative air pressure in the room. With a negative air pressure created, the room tries to suck air from the outdoor and does so by sucking air from holes and leaks. This affects the indoor air quality as the contaminated, unfiltered air from cracks and holes seeps in.

- Wear and tear problem 

Pressure is created in the ductwork which affects the dampers, the blowers as well as the supply registers which are closed. This increases the risk of wear and tear. In the case of foil ductwork, the ductwork may develop massive leaks.

Keeping the above-mentioned consequences, it can be deducted that closing registers offers no genuine benefit. Even the benefits for which the registered are closed are not actually received. So if you have been practising closing registers, do it no more. Neither your energy bills are getting any effect from that nor it does any help to add to the comfort level. Better try genuine ways to improve airflow and air quality.

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Can't afford a Humidifier? Increase Humidity naturally!

Thanks to the technology for making things easy for us. We are employing one kind of technological advancement or the other in our daily lives today. One of such technological advancement is the Humidifier. An appliance that helps increase indoor humidity by increasing the moisture in the air. But hey! Appliances don't come for free and an appliance like Humidifier costs a minimum of $200. So what to do when you are tight on budget and can't afford to install a Humidifier? Are there any other ways to increase Humidity and avoid the discomfort which is caused by low humidity level? Fortunately, yes! There are simple and affordable ways to increase indoor humidity without using a costly Humidifier. So let's check out those ways:



Ways that can prove a good alternative to Humidifier 


- As the clothes air-dry, they evaporate water, don't they? Then why not let the clothes air-dry using a dryer rack or temporarily tying a dryer line? This will save energy and will increase the indoor humidity as well. Two in one!

- Placing bowls of water on windowsills and registers helps a great deal as well. The water evaporates and adds to the environment increasing its humidity

- Making coffee or tea? Instead of microwaving the mug in the microwave, better use the stove and heat water in pan or teapot. This will release moisture in the indoor and the humidity level is increased

- One of the coolest tricks is to leave the door open after taking shower or keeping it open as you take shower. The hot water moisture will spread rapidly in the room which will add to the humidity level at least in that part of the home

- Attached to the shower with the open door is the tip of not draining the bathtub water when it is still hot. Leave it there for some time with the bathroom door open. The hot water will evaporate and the moisture will spread. Drain it as the water cools off

- Plants do a great deal of help when it comes to moisture. Plants release moisture from their leaves almost all the time. The more they are kept moist, the more moisture they release which is called transpiration. So introducing some plants in the indoor is a cost-effective and genius idea to naturally and evenly increase indoor humidity

- Instead of drying the dishes in the dryer or with a cloth, let them air-dry. Once again, moisture which will be released will increase the moisture in the air

These are some of the ways that can help you in increasing the indoor humidity. But there are some exceptions as well. These DIY tips can increase the level to some extent only. If you are one such homeowner with some severe allergies from dry air, it is recommended to install a Humidifier so that the ideal humidity can be kept maintained. However, in normal conditions, where only a slight increase in moisture is needed, these DIY tips can suffice for you.

Did you find this blog interesting? Do you have some DIY suggestions for increasing indoor humidity? If yes, share with us.
 

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Simple ways to make your home energy efficient

You don't necessarily have to upgrade to costly appliances if your goal is to make your home and workplace energy efficient. There are simple everyday practices that can not only add to your own comfort but can also minus your discomfort that is caused by hefty energy bills. And at the same time can contribute to making Earth a safer and healthier abode.
Let's discuss some tips for making the home as well as the workplace energy efficient.


Ways to make home and workplace energy efficient 


- Making an upgrade to LED or fluorescents lights is no big deal but did you know, doing so can make a significant difference to your energy bills

- Turning off lights be they LED or fluorescent when they are not in use can further lower the energy consumption

- You might think that leaving a TV or computer turned on all day is not a big issue. But you are wrong. Did you know that a TV can cost $22-$110 annually if it is used for only 5 hours a day? Now if your TV operates all the time, do the maths yourself and calculate the extra dollars that you have to pay every year. Switch it off!

- Homeowners are already upgrading to Smart Thermostat technology but the thing is only a handful of people make the right use of these thermostats and make the most of it. A majority uses it primarily for setting up the desired temperature or to remotely control the indoor temperature. There's a lot more that the Smart technology can offer. Only if the Thermostat is set to lower the temperature at night hours and the hours when you are not at home, you can make a bulk of saving.

- Not having a tune-up costs you extra as the unmaintained appliances operate. Get your Air Conditioner tuned up every spring and Furnace every fall

- In order to save on maintenance and repair that you will have to take sooner or later, a wise practice is to subscribe to a maintenance & repair plan that is cheaper as compared to taking a fresh service every time. But here, be sure that you subscribe to the plan of a reliable service

- Leaking ductwork, leaking refrigerant coil or leaks in doors and windows, all of these lead to a rise in energy cost. It is your duty, as a homeowner to be vigilant about identifying and fixing any such issues or calling an HVAC professional as soon as a problem is found

- Improving insulation can add to keeping the indoor warm in winters and cool in the summers. But for that, once again, it is not necessary to go for costly insulation or to call an HVAC tech. If you already have your home insulated or the architecture is such that no complex insulation is required, you can try a DIY. Simply get some fibreglass batts and use them for the purpose of insulation

- Avoid the use of heavy appliances during peak hours to save on energy cost

Following all the above-mentioned tips, you can get a guaranteed reduction in energy bills and that too in hundreds of dollars.

How many of these practices do you already follow? And what other ways do you use to keep energy cost in control and make your home smarter? Share with us!

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5 ways to avoid compressor failure

Air Conditioner compressor does come with a long warranty but many homeowners void their warranty in one way or the other. And once the warranty expires, failure of an Air Conditioner compressor would mean an expense of several hundred dollars. Taking preventive measures to avoid compressor failures is the best way to save yourself from discomfort as well as costly replacements.
Here are 5 ways that can help avoid AC compressor failure.

Ways to avoid Air Conditioner compressor failure


- Keep a check on refrigerant

You may or may not be able to suspect AC refrigerant leaks. Although there are some very clear indications that can help suspect refrigerant leaks, homeowners still fail to find the leaks in time. The best way to make sure the refrigerant is not leaking is to keep a regular check on the level of the refrigerant. An HVAC tech can check for the refrigerant level at the cost of some dollars but spending these few dollars can put you at a very safe side. Since refrigerant leaks are among the most common causes of compressor failure, keeping a check reduces the possibility to a great extent.

- Replace with the right replacements

In case you did not know this, here's this piece of information for you;

Be very cautious when doing the part replacement. Using replacement parts of a different brand not only void appliance warranty but at times also put the compressor at the risk of failure when low-quality replacement parts are used.

- Regularly clean the coil

Compressor coils get accumulated with dust and debris. This dust and debris over time create hard clogs and block the release of heat. As a result, the compressor has to work overtime to expel the heat. This process burdens the compressor and it fails. To avoid compressor failure, keep the compressor coils clean.


- Clear suction lines

Your Air Conditioner is designed to handle only a limited temperature and pressure setting. When the level exceeds, the system fails to handle that and often expresses the anger in the form of failing the compressor. Blocked suction lines is one such scenario that affects the pressure and temperature. To save the compressor from failure, make sure the suction lines are not blocked.

- Subscribe to a preventive maintenance plan

The best way to avoid AC compressor failure, as well as other serious Air Conditioner repairs, is to subscribe to a preventive maintenance plan or to have your system checked annually by a professional and certified HVAC technician. Professional maintenance & tune-up saves the system from sudden breakdowns & serious repairs and allows the homeowners to find and fix the possible repair needs in time.


Have you ever faced a compressor failure scenario? If yes, what reason did your tech tell you of the failure and how much did it cost you to replace a compressor?
Also, what preventive measures do you take to avoid a compressor failure? Share your HVAC experiences, good or bad, to help other homeowners learn from them.

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Buying a new Air Conditioner? Buy wisely!


Every year, thousands of Canadian homeowners purchase new HVAC appliances, including Furnaces, Water Heaters, Air Conditioners and others. But how many of them also end up making the right purchases as they purchase? Not so many. And that is because homeowners do not pay enough attention to the pros and cons of an appliance, it's price and how both of these factors will contribute to affecting the efficiency and longevity of it. Also, the attractive commercials and advertisements leave no room for critically analysing the advertised appliances. As a result, homeowners buy what they are forced to buy. This enforcement could be in the form of a sticky retailer, a constant ad popping up on social media or TV or a friend or family having a good experience with a particular appliance.

As HVAC specialist, we think that every single home has its own peculiar requirements and every single homeowner his own peculiar needs. What works best for so many out there may not work the same way for you so it is important to critically analyse the appliance and compare its pros and cons with your needs and wants. We are writing this post to help homeowners make wise choices as they purchase Air Conditioner units for their homes.

How to make wise Air Conditioner purchase

Picking the right SEER. Not more not less

So if somebody tells you the higher the SEER the better the savings, you need to read between the lines. High SEER does not always mean savings and high seer does not mean it's perfect for you. Depending on the climate, the usage of the unit and some other factors, seer suitability varies from home to home. For mild climates, a 14 SEER Air Conditioner goes fine while for hotter climates, a unit of 16 SEER would be suitable in all cases. If you choose to go any higher and can afford to go higher, make sure the investment is worth making by doing some rough calculations. So the first most important point is to not fall for ''Buy high SEER Air Conditioner and it will pay for itself'' kind of advertisement lines. An honest HVAC professional can help you decide what SEER unit would work best for your home. And if you don't find one such honest man, consider relying on the online calculators that help calculate whether or not a particular SEER would help save in long run and how much savings can be expected.

Sizing will affect the comfort

As we always say, it is important to purchase the right size of Air Conditioner. Size defines cooling power. So a 1 ton AC will have less cooling power than a 2 ton AC but this depends on the area to be cooled. For a small area, 1 ton will be better while for larger areas, 2 ton will suffice better. Remember that it is not only purchasing a small size unit for a large area that will affect the comfort but also purchasing a large unit for a small area that will cause discomfort. The AC, in this case, will frequently trip and will not be able to comfortably cool the indoor. Also, high energy bills are a clear consequence.
So as you plan to purchase a new unit, consider your location, your home's area, your home's insulation, your already installed unit and then decide the size.
If you have a hard time deciding the right size, we always recommend talking to professionals for better and more reliable advice.

Contractors matter!

Even if you choose the very best unit, not choosing the right retailer and the right installer will still keep you in a loss. So make a thorough research about the retailers in your vicinity. Take help from Google and the reviews will help you reach the right people. Don't take this advice lightly. It's almost equal if not more than the price of your Air Conditioner. 

Some additional tips to consider

- Taking bids from multiple contractors will help you reach the right and affordable one
- Make sure you know what exactly is included in your package
- This one is important; Do not hire someone to install your system just because he is charging less. He may be charging less because he is not a professional. Better choose professionals for a higher price than choosing an unprofessional for a lower price.

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Here's how you can accidentally void your Air Conditioner warranty

What if you purchase a brand new Air Conditioner and have to get it repaired just after a few months that too with an expense of several hundred dollars? Where did the warranty go? Why did you have to pay for the repairs when the company gave a warranty of 10 years? Well, it happened because you accidentally voided your warranty. You might wonder if you have never been to such a situation, how can someone void his own warranty? Well, this happens accidentally as part of lack of knowledge about warranties and also because these accidents can so frequently take place as the brand wants you to make those accidents (mean, right?) so that you pay yourself. And for this reason, the voiding of warranty thing is kept quite easy. So before you void your warranty, let's help you learn how not to end up voiding it.

Forgetting to register the system 


Hey! Didn't you know this? Well, so many people don't that it's important to get a system registered with the company once it is purchased or else the warranty will stand void. And this is not all; the time for registration is limited; usually 60-90 days.
If you have recently purchased an Air Conditioner but didn't get your system registered, run!
A good way to save yourself from this mistake is to look for a retailer that performs the registration on your behalf. There are several good HVAC services that fill the registration form on their customer's behalf as he makes a purchase. So your warranty doesn't get voided.

Cheap, Off-brand replacement parts


And here's one thing that many homeowners fall into. Off-brand replacement parts. Usually, the unprofessional services repair the appliances using off-brand parts and for your information, this voids warranty as well. Since the manufacturer wants you to use only its own manufactured replacement parts, it doesn't take any responsibility of your appliance if you have already repaired it using non/off-brand parts. 
Here you need to do two things;
- Always purchase the same repair parts as is your appliance's brand
- Do not hire unprofessional people who would put you and your appliance at a double risk and loss

Delaying regular maintenance 


There are several homeowners that delay HVAC maintenance just to save some dollars. But did you know, it is important to keep the appliances maintained in order to keep the warranty valid? HVAC manufacturers want the homeowners to maintain their appliances at least once a year and also to keep a record of the maintenance visits of a certified HVAC professional. So if you complain the company and don't have maintenance record, there are high chances you won't be given any compensation.
So from now onwards, make a routine of having all your HVAC appliances maintained by a certified professional.

There is one quick thing to mention; when we say maintenance, we do seriously mean professional maintenance. And since you're reading about the things that void the warranty, you also need to learn that any unprofessional repair also results in voiding the HVAC warranty.
Save your warranties - save your dollars
 

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